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Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children

Whittle, Sarah, Simmons, Julian G., Byrne, Michelle L., Strikwerda-Brown, Cherie, Kerestes, Rebecca, Seal, Marc L., Olsson, Craig A., Dudgeon, Paul, Mundy, Lisa K., Patton, George C. and Allen, Nicholas B. 2015, Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children, Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, vol. 10, no. 9, pp. 1282-1290, doi: 10.1093/scan/nsv014.

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Title Associations between early adrenarche, affective brain function and mental health in children
Author(s) Whittle, Sarah
Simmons, Julian G.
Byrne, Michelle L.
Strikwerda-Brown, Cherie
Kerestes, Rebecca
Seal, Marc L.
Olsson, Craig A.ORCID iD for Olsson, Craig A. orcid.org/0000-0002-5927-2014
Dudgeon, Paul
Mundy, Lisa K.
Patton, George C.
Allen, Nicholas B.
Journal name Social cognitive and affective neuroscience
Volume number 10
Issue number 9
Start page 1282
End page 1290
Total pages 9
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2015-09
ISSN 1749-5016
1749-5024
Keyword(s) Adrenarche
Dehydroepiandrosterone
Emotion
Sex differences
Puberty
Externalizing symptoms
Summary Early timing of adrenarche, associated with relatively high levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in children, has been associated with mental health and behavioral problems. However, little is known about effects of adreneracheal timing on brain function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of early adrenarche (defined by high DHEA levels independent of age) on affective brain function and symptoms of psychopathology in late childhood (N = 83, 43 females, M age 9.53 years, s.d. 0.34 years). Results showed that higher DHEA levels were associated with decreased affect-related brain activity (i) in the mid-cingulate cortex in the whole sample, and (ii) in a number of cortical and subcortical regions in female but not male children. Higher DHEA levels were also associated with increased externalizing symptoms in females, an association that was partly mediated by posterior insula activation to happy facial expressions. These results suggest that timing of adrenarche is an important moderator of affect-related brain function, and that this may be one mechanism linking early adrenarche to psychopathology.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/scan/nsv014
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID ARC DP120101402
Copyright notice ©2015, Oxford University Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073327

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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